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Reminiscing About Japan: Top Places to Visit…

“Then followed that beautiful season… Summer… Filled was the air with a dreamy and magical light; and the landscape Lay as if new created in all the freshness of childhood.” – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow Reminiscing About A Summer in Japan: Photos & Places to Visit Japan: Toshogu Shrine, Nikko Japan: Tokyo Imperial Palace Japan: Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo Japan: Lucky Charms at Temple in Kyoto Toshogu Shrine, Nikko Tokyo Imperial Palace and here Asakusa Kannon Temple, Tokyo and here Lucky Charms at Temple in Kyoto and here I love the changing seasons we enjoy here on the east ...

Flower Arranging 101

I love watching a professional florist work their magic! They happily jump into the cooler and quickly grab an assortment of blooms and greens to take back to their work area. Their experienced fingers quickly cut stems, strip leaves & if needed, remove thorns. Pretty soon an amazing piece of art is created, colourful contrasts and neutral greens are blended together and arranged perfectly into a one of a kind design. If only I had this talent! Yes, it is a talent. ...

Beat the Winter Blues with Hellebore Hues!

Even in the dead of winter when nothing else will grow, winter gardens will come alive with the drop-dead gorgeous hellebore. Hellebores thrive in cold climates and are a must for winter gardens, adding a burst of colour to the otherwise dull landscape! These showy, attractive flowers come in a variety of colours, including green, yellow, pink and purple. The flowers typically  have five petals, although some are double-blooms. Not only are these saucer-shaped flowers beautiful, they are also hardy and ...

Ethical Wisdom: What Makes Us Good – A Review

“Morality, like art, really does come down to where you draw the line.” Oscar Wilde Ethical Wisdom: What Makes Us Good – A Review... A book by Mark Matousek Mark Matousek, best selling author of “When You’re Falling, Dive”, “ The Boy He Left Behind”, and “Sex Death Enlightenment”, presents in his latest book; Ethical Wisdom, an inspiring and thought-provoking examination of what makes us good (an evil) and provides insights to the question – How ought we to live? His ...

Meditations: In the Depth of Winter…

“In the depth of winter I finally learned that there was in me an invincible summer.” Albert Camus Of late, the snowstorms and raining ice chips have left many of us in New York and across the nation in a tizzy; albeit, some in the doldrums. The weather has been quite brutal and it feels like we have permanently moved to the alps. Of course, the winter doldrums will pass … as will our cabin fever but until then; what to ...

2012 Fall Wedding Flower Ideas and Trends

Summer may be the most popular time of the year for weddings, but there are brides that love the idea of a fall wedding. It’s a a gorgeous time of the year, with the changing of the the leaves and the nice, breezy fall temperatures. Warm, inviting tones like reds, oranges, and golden yellows are popular fall wedding colours. Consider using a combination of these flowers in your floral arrangements: marigolds, black-eyed susans, daisies, dahlias, roses, asters, calla lilies and chrysanthemums. Photo: ...

How to protect your flowers during a heat wave

Summer is here. The sun is out. People are having fun outdoors. Life is pretty good. Can’t complain. But then, there are those summer days when it’s just WAY too hot to do anything. You are breaking a sweat just by standing there. Just like frost, too much heat isn’t good for your plants.  The dry heat and scorching temperatures can destroy your garden plants. Here are some helpful tips to keep your flowers from dying from the extreme heat: Prepare your ...

Memoirs and Book Signings Aren’t for Sissies

Amy ("Ask Amy") Dickinson at her book signing I attend book signings to get a feel for how different authors handle that aspect of self-promotion. So far, the best entertainment was by Mildred Kalish (Little Heathens). She showed her sense of humor, and instead of reading excerpts in long succession, she made them short and talked in between them about related ideas or events, but not just reading her work. The least entertaining signings are those where the authors are either ...

Our Cardboard Cutout Baby Stand-in

Our Stand-in Cardboard Baby My wife, who’s 41-weeks pregnant today, has her last scheduled out-patient doctor’s visit this afternoon. They’ll check and see if there’s any additional dilation and cervical thinning to (perhaps) indicate when the baby might be making his soon arrival. If the doctor tells us  there’s no additional action and that the boy is hunkered in tighter than a WWI Doughboy in a embattled trench on the Western Front – we’re prepared for a C-section later in the week. In the ...

What did you call me?

[Our family recently delivered our third child. As such, some blogging buddies of mine have graciously offered to write a series of guest posts to allow my family to spend a little time together - away from this blog. I'm deeply grateful for such friends, and I hope you enjoy their writing!] I would like to thank Tor’s wife for the opportunity to guest post on his blog today. Sure it is his blog but without her heroic dive back into ...

10 Things I Wish I Shared With Dad…

My dad in his late 20s I loved my dad. I know that I’m lucky in that regard because many men are estranged from their fathers or have strained relationships at best. Part of that problem is that most guys aren’t great at expressing emotions or words. It’s difficult to build a relationship in that kind of communication vacuum. I was fortunate to have a good relationship with my dad. But that ended when he died of a heart attack almost six years ...

Dad And Amelia: Conclusion

Valuable time ticked by as Dad fiddled with the plane’s flight instruments. When he’d finished tapping and adjusting every device in the cockpit, he contacted the tower on the squawky radio and we were told to proceed to the runway. With my heart beating like a hummingbird’s, I looked over at Dad. He appeared fully in control as man and machine became one. I still think of him this way, Helios the sun god. And I was to accompany him ...

Does This Video Disrespect Our Veterans???

This past Friday evening my wife and I attended a preseason NFL game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore ravens. As a lifelong Steelers fan, I've no love for the ravens - but the tickets were cheap, the seats were great and I've been Jonesing for professional football. During the pregame ceremonies and warm-up I took a minute of video that I found extremely odd. The stadium was filling up as the public address announcer said they were going to ...

Fabulous Finds: Valentine’s Day Decor and Gifts

Life may be like “a box of chocolates,” as Forrest Gump would say. But that doesn’t mean everyone wants one for Valentine’s Day. If you want to give your loved one something that lasts longer than a sweet confection, check out these fabulous finds. Each one is sure to put a smile on their face. Smith & Hawken Cream Curved Wood Wreath; 21.25″. Priced at $33.99; www.target.com. Red Foil Ceramic Bowl. Priced at $34.95; www.pier1.com. Go Home Venice Candlesticks; pack of two. ...

Artist’s Studio

My new artist’s studio is is finally setup! Your artist’s studio is the hub of your creative endeavors. It is your home away from home. Often it is the home of your heart. An ...

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Acknowledging the pain of others

People like me, who write about their experiences of child sexual abuse, do not intentionally set out to cause other people pain. Unfortunately, however, we do. When we are lucky enough to have people ...

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A Good Master And A Greater Revelation

Jason Clark is a singer/songwriter, author, speaker, and pastor. Jason’s passion is to know the love of God more each day. He lives to see a generation step into their identity as sons and daughters ...

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Defining Moment 1985

One strong arm robbery (no weapons) turned into 2 when the take on the first was too light. The 2nd got us caught. I was driving, and we were about to pull away but a ...

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7 Questions With an Author: Frank Viola

Frank is a highly-sought speaker and an incredibly prolific writer with 16 published books so far. His web blog frankviola.org is one of the Top 10 Christian blogs on the Internet. His latest work is a ...

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The Kid Got to Me

When she told me that she wanted to write books I knew that she had suffered. Only the scarred would dare to write, to make sense of, or at least to look at, the entrails ...

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Haiku: The First Day Of Spring…

Today is Thursday March 20th, the first, official day of spring! The buds start to peak through; crocuses, forget-me-nots, blossoming cherry trees herald the awakening of a new day. Spring has sprung and we can ...

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Afterlife of the Viking

Shevata leaned back on the armrest of the obsidian throne. “Zermon, no more savages!” “I’ll remind you that you released the last one?” Zermon rolled his eyes looking over a short man brought before ...

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Freebie Friday: Free April 2014 Desktop Calendar Wallpaper!

While for some of us it’s hard to believe, Spring really is on it’s way! Here in Edmonton we are looking forward to double digit temps next week! Exciting! To help celebrate Springs arrival here are ...

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Run Like Hell!

Humans can be porcupinish in nature. You get too close and their adrenaline kicks in, triggering a panicky spray of barbed quills, homing in on your most vulnerable places, usually the face and eyes. And why ...

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Peer support through blogging

One of my reasons for returning to study is that I would like to set up an organisation whose sole purpose is peer support for adults (both women and men) who experienced abuse as a ...

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Guest Post: Bulb Flower Gardens

The fondest experience for any gardener is the sight of the first spring flowers peeking through the last snow of winter. These spring flowers have been long seen as a sign of new life. Whether ...

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Winter Storm Warning

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Winter storm warning remains in effect until 6 am CST Wednesday…a wintry mix of precipitation is ongoing across much of the area and will continue to spread south and east through the remainder of the day. Ice accumulations of one quarter of an inch will be possible in all locations with accumulations possibly nearing one half inch south …

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How Cold Is Cold?

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I am taking a bit of a break from the Germany Travelogue to complain about the weather. Isn’t that what everyone does? Isn’t that one of our Constitutional Rights? Of course it is…there is some very fine print somewhere mixed in the First Amendment about weather related free speech. And…dare I say that no one is …

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Let’s Do The Time Warp Again

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A wise Arizona Indian chief once said, “Only a white man would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket and sew it to the bottom of a blanket and have a longer blanket.” Wisely, Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time. In my opinion, this is a very logical observation. …

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The Best Places to See Fall Foliage in Canada

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While Fun Flower Facts is a flower blog, we think leaves can be just as beautiful as flowers. In fact, Albert Camus, a French Nobel Prize winning author and philosopher, said it best: “Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower.” Canada is a beautiful country, especially during the fall, when the trees …

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Radio-Treated Water the Answer to Global Warming?

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With all the climate changes and weird weather we’ve been having in recent years, global warming is a serious matter and environmentalists and scientists have been working endlessly to find some solutions. Irish professors at the University of Limerick believes they have found a way to increase the size and production of vegetable crops and bedding …

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The Supermoon

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The largest full moon of 2013, a so-called “supermoon,” will light up the night sky this weekend, but there’s more to this lunar delight than meets the eye. On Sunday, June 23, at 7 a.m. EDT (1100 GMT), the moon will arrive at perigee — the point in its orbit bringing it closest to Earth), a …

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